BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to a method for making metalized
and metalized-pigmented transfer printings.
The invention also relates to the transfer printing made
by the above method.
The field of the invention is that of the methods for making
metalized transfer printings, i.e. support elements (usually made of a sheet clear
plastics material) supporting wordings, patterns, figures or the like thereon, made
by starting from a metal film, in particular an aluminium film, and which can be
transferred, by pressure and heating, on a surface to be patterned.
Prior transfer printings have been made by removing, by
acid solutions, the metal material, to form the target or desired pattern.
However, the use of acid solutions is affected by great
drawbacks, related to the liquid phase of the reactive material (which can be hardly
controlled in the desired processing operations), and the acid nature of the medium,
requiring difficult and complex operations in the printing process, which greatly
increase the total processing time.
Moreover, the above mentioned prior transfer printings
do not provide a quality and resolution image.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
Accordingly, the main object of the present invention is
to provide a novel method for making metal transfer printings which, with respect
to the above mentioned prior methods, which is much more simple, quick and, moreover
provides high quality and resolution images.
A further object of the present invention is to provide
such a method which also allows to make metalized-pigmented transfer printings,
i.e. transfer printings the images or patterns of which are made by a pigmented
composition on a metal material.
According to one aspect of the present invention, the above
mentioned aim and objects, as well as yet other objects, which will become more
apparent hereinafter, are achieved by a method and transfer printings as claimed
respectively in claims 1 and 5.
Further preferred embodiments of the invention are pointed
out in the other claims.
With respect to prior screen printing method, the inventive
method provides the advantage that it allows to make transfer printings in a much
more simple and quick manner, thereby allowing to obtain high quality and resolution
image, having a image definition or resolution greatly improved with respect to
the image which can be obtained by prior transfer printings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
Further characteristics and advantages of the invention
will become more apparent hereinafter from the following detailed disclosure of
a preferred embodiment of the invention which is illustrated, by way of an indicative,
but not limitative, example in the figures of the accompanying drawings.
In the drawings:
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
- Figure 1 shows a block diagram of the method according to the present invention;
- Figures 2 and 5 show the operating steps of the method shown in figure 1.
With reference to the above mentioned figures, the method
according to the present invention comprises a starting coupling operating step,
in which, by using a glue layer 3, a metal material film 1, either colored or not,
is coupled or applied on a supporting sheet element 2, made of a plastics material,
either clear or neutral, preferably a polyester resin.
Then by a screen printing operation, a plastic resin is
printed on the film 1, thereby coating the area 4 of the image of pattern to be
reproduced on the transfer printing element.
To remove from the film 1 the uncovered metal surface,
i.e. the surface on the outside of the image pattern 4, said film is processed in
a delaminating step, which is carried out by spreading on the overall surface of
the film a basic mixture or paste, thereby providing a layer 5 adhering to and covering
both the image or pattern 4 and the remaining surface of the film 1.
Preferably, the mixture or paste forming said layer 5 is
based on sodium hydroxide, as added with an inert filler.
Then, by suitable washing or sensing steps, from the supporting
sheet element 2 is removed the film portio1 1 left uncovered by the screen printing
resin, while holding unaltered the protected part or surface of the film 4 corresponding
to the transfer image or pattern.
After a following drying step, a transfer printing is obtained
which can be subjected to any desired screen printing operations, to provide the
image or pattern with the desired colors.
Advantageously, the used film 1 can be of any desired metal
types, in particular, aluminium or pigmented aluminium.
In the latter case, the delaminating step is carried out
by adding to the basic mixture or paste, for forming the above mentioned layer 5,
with suitable organic solvents, adapted to remove the pigmentation on the unprotected
areas or regions of the film 1.